Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Lincoln Plsek's immediate family is safe in West, Texas, but a distant relative was killed in the blast

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers spring football Updated: April 18, 2013 - 8:07 PM

Gophers tight end Lincoln Plsek hails from West, Texas, the small community 20 minutes north of Waco, where a massive explosion at a fertilization plant toppled nearby houses Wednesday night.

Plsek’s mother, Jennifer, said Thursday that no immediate family members were injured in the blast. The Plsek’s live on the south side of town, less than two miles from the fertilization plant.

Update: Lincoln Plsek spoke to reporters after practice today and said a distant relative was killed in the blast.

"I was shocked," Plsek said. "I didn’t think anything like that could happen. When something like that happens, you don’t expect it to be in your hometown, especially a town of 2,600 people, and it was just a shocking feeling. My heart goes out to the families and everyone who lost lives and was injured."

 

(Explosion site: AP photo)

“We were at home, kind of relaxing,” Jennifer Plsek said. “We’d heard reports that there were supposed to be storms. All of a sudden, we heard a real loud boom. We heard our house shake and we saw this large cloud of smoke, like you see on TV, those nuclear bomb-shaped clouds.”

She said Lincoln had trouble reaching the family at first because the cell phones weren’t working, but she was able to tell him they were safe within an hour.

“Our family has been very blessed in all of this,” Jennifer Plsek said. But she has seen images of the destruction on the north side of town. “I’m kind of at a loss for words,” she added.

“Being so far away makes it ten times worse,” Lincoln Plsek said on his Twitter feed (@LincPlsek).

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